I’ve been using the term “godfree” for several years now, having read it in a column by a woman who finds the word “godless” condescending, smug and incorrect. How nice it was to read that a rally on the Washington Mall drew 10-20 thousand and was billed as . . . godfree.
The United States first major secular and humanist event, the Reason Rally, attracted between 10 to 20,000 participants to National Mall on Saturday, March 24, 2012.
A cold drizzle and blowing wind could not douse the warm reception given to the world’s leading proponents of atheism, skepticism, free thought and Darwinian evolution. Most of the speakers drew applause for their support of gay rights as well as other social causes.
The star of the day was undoubtedly Richard Dawkins who called the crowd assembled near the Washington Monument “the most incredible site I can remember ever seeing.” He began by speaking about America’s Constitution in glowing terms:
“I don’t come from these parts. I see myself as an emissary from a beknighted country that does not have a Constitutional separation between Church and State. Indeed, we don’t have a written Constitution at all. We have a head of State who is also the head of the Church of England. The Church is deeply entwined in British public life. The American Constitution is a precious treasure, the envy of the world. The First Amendment of the Constitution which enshrines the separation between Church and State is the model for secular constitutions the world over, and deserves to be imitated the world over.”